tv Census Director Testifies on 2020 Census CSPAN February 13, 2020 2:00am-5:14am EST
this house oversight hearing is just over three hours. >> director steven dillingham. >> a committee will come to order. good morning everyone. the chair has authorized to declare process of the committee at any time. without that i will now recognize myself to give an opening statement pretty good morning and thank you all for being here today. the 2020 census of now underway. two weeks ago, the census bureau candidates first person and rural alaska. next month they will begin in
earnest around our country. the constitution requires up to camp every single person in the united states without exception. this census will be the largest and most complex in american history and this is essential that the count is full, fair and free from any interference. this year census will have enormous consequences for our communities. the result will drive the distribution of more than 1.5 trillion in federal funds. that is trillion with a t. these funds support critical services like children's healthcare in local schools, roads, bridges. unfortunately, the administration preparation for this census have been woefully inadequate. whether to incompetence or intentional action, this administration's failures risk causing great harm to this year's census and could
jeopardize a complete and accurate count and these problems are now absolutely urgent. today, the nonpartisan, government accountability office is publicly releasing a troubling new report that highlights serious concerns about preparations for the 2020 census. we will hear from gao in a moment but here are some of the most concerning findings. the census bureau and i quote, this is from gao. significant risks, and faces, that can adversely affect the cost and quality, schedule and security of the council. ". the bureau is behind in its recruiting of applicants for upcoming operation. if the bureau does not recruit sufficient individuals, it may have difficulty hiring and of staff to complete its upcoming
operations within the scheduled time frame. this is particularly troubling, this is a chart the gol gao has. this is where we should be in hiring on the redline. 2.6 million. and where to point to and getting their . but all of this time, when they should have been up here, they were behind in the hiring. that will impact in a negative way, the outcome of the senses. another quote. the bureau also continues to face significant cybersecurity challenges. including those related to addressing cybersecurity weaknesses in a timely manner. the bureau has goals building towards his overall growth of 300,000 community partners by march of 2020. ". many people tell me, at the
bureau, gao end everywhere, that one of the most important things is having these partnerships with the community because they know the community. they know where the people are, they can help get the counts accurate if possible. today, a stark warning from gao reflects concerns that this committee has been raising for the past several years. increasing urgency, last month we held a hearing and witnesses after witnesses, raise dire warnings about the administration's failures to adequately prepare for the 2020 census. for example, market, the president and ceo of the national urban league he testified that the census bureau should be treating this as a state of an emergency. "and he warned that hiring was far behind schedule. and it is time to ring the bell. and that the risk of the nation and the risk for communities is great.
the president ceo of the leadership conference of civil and civil rights just for that another cat would have a " broad applications for having teachers to students there are in a school district healthcare hospitals, roads infrastructure " and she also warns, " stakeholders urgently need more information in a deployment plan. " vargas, the ceo, education fund warns that the trump administration citizen ship russian debacle " continues to foster fear and doubt. " and this is made worse by a hostile environment towards immigrants. john yang, the president ceo of asian americans advancing justice, testified that the census bureau's language report
program has " several gaps that need to be overcome and the hiring efforts have been slow and inconsistently inclusive of underserved communities. today will we hear directly from the director and have a lot of tough questions for him. there are brave challenges facing us this year census and to be honest, i don't have cup full confidence that this administration is equipped to handle them. we are committed to doing everything we can to highlight these challenges where we see them and work with our dedicated colleagues of the census bureau and gao, and collaborate with our partners across the country to deliver a fair and accurate count. our constitution requires it, our communities rely on it, and her democracy depends on it. i want to thank all of the witnesses and particularly the
director for being with us today. i look forward to all of your testimony. i now recognize our distinguished ranking member, mr. jordan for an opening statement. >> thank you for convening this timely and important hearing. i want to finger witnesses. and particularly director steven dillingham for taking time out of his busy schedule. this is one of the most important matters within our committee jurisdiction and is mandated by the constitution every ten years and has been conducted every decade since 1790. the data collected sees of house of representatives and distributed more than $600 billion annually. these numbers also serve as a foundation for estimates of current population and for projections future populations for these reasons. it's obviously informed that the senses is accurate and complete . the democrats have largely ignored this response abilities to receipt preparations for the 2020 preparations.
instead, focusing on the citizen ship question effort to score political points. after all this time is to not do not understand why. this question is been our senses before, and despite several nations around the world and it's a question that even the united nations encourages countries to aspirated the democrats basically argued that the question was designed to scare immigrants and racial communities in an effort to undergo this populations. that is civilly not correct. the census bureau conducted a test in the summer of 2019, the operational effects of self response of including a citizenship question. study found that there were no differences in self response rates between forms with and forms without the citizenship question. imagine that. let me say that again, no difference in self response rates between forms with and without the citizenship question. in july 2019 following a supreme
court decision, the trump court removed it. and the democrats want you to believe that the administered to the section because of the citizen ship russian was fundamentally appropriate. but in fact, the supreme court held that the trump administration had the authority to add this to the senses so the administrative law. so third hearing, the democrats have called to talk about the senses taking control of the house and prior to that, they held nine hearings dating back to 2015 to examine challenges by the 2020 senses. what now in the midst of a peak operation for this. march 12, 1 month from today people will begin completing and returning there census questionnaires. this is a time when they must be fully operational, and it lies with director steven dillingham and certainly no small tax. they need to hire 500,000 people nationwide as numerators to conduct nonresponse operations
follow-up. teresa number, the hiring target, the census bureau is conducting a nationwide recruiting campaign to generate interest in the temporary work with the goal of recruiting 2.6 million interesting or interested candidates by march 2020. i look forward to hearing how those efforts are going. it is imperative that we were to avoid whistle spending in this process. plasma the gao reported that the census bureau had managed criteria for level cost estimate, the first time the census bureau has ever met that gao metrics for reliable cost estimate. we are eager to get an update from the our geo updates. but the cost effectiveness about the operation. the help today we can do away with the partisan and act together and make sure the censuses complete and accurate. thank you and i look forward to testimony today. without i yelled back. >> i would like to welcome our
witnesses. the honorable director steven dillingham, mr. christopher, managing to write director of strategic issues a, cybersecuriy manager the government accountability office, mr. albert e is the associate director of the census program that the united states census bureau and he would always your right hand, begin by soaring un. do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. okay let the record show that all of the witnesses answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. the microphones are sensitive so please speak directly into them and without objection, your written statements will be made part of the record. with that, director steven
dillingham, thank you so much for coming and you are now recognize reopening statement. >> good morning. thank you for inviting me to testify in the 2020 senses progress. the census has been planned for the past decade and we are confident the real mission and on budget and on target. on the chairwoman just stated, 20 senses began a few weeks ago in remote alaska in the village of beit. we start early in remote alaska where conditions are severe, the nice along before the snow and ice begin to thaw, the village is accessible only by a small plane, weather permitting. in anchorage, we met with congressional state leaders, committees and partners from public and private and nonprofit groups. we attended a church service in a diverse community where father fred had blessing for a safe journey and a successful senses. the next up was a small snow-covered village, where locals offered us native winter
here. when the weather broke week left a small planes with skilled private pilots pretty moved only flight to reach the day that day. we were greeted by the village elder. i was whisked off on a snowmobile. as a census worker, i cannot discuss the person data predict the person's answers were translated. upon completion the person looked into my face, with a warm smile and gleaming eyes, affecting generations of wisdom, saying two words. thank you. i was honored to conduct the account in the prison was honored to be counted, the census is personal and built on trust. that is how the 2020 senses begin. as i departed, stopped at the school gym where villagers gathered. his children were wearing traditional closed performing native dance pretty excitement was high in the bleachers were feel. native food abundant. the village was celebrating the
2020 senses. to conduct a successful count, it takes a village. a town, or at middlebury vermont, city, like new york city or detroit. an accounting like in florida or lorain county ohio, and the most populous county of los angeles. the success of this will be repeated across america. recruiting and hiring are on target, partnerships are unprecedented in innovations and efficiencies saved tens of millions of dollars in new options enable people to complete the senses anytime and anywhere. the government accountability office and inspector general have reviewed our progress. the 2020 senses is positioned for success. it will take trust and engagement in the bureau has response ability for data collection and reporting. but the senses does not belong to an agency, or to the federal government. it belongs to everyone and
always has. it is a national asset. engagement is increasing. we have statewide commissions coordinating efforts. we have an army of partners to bring forth in the corner of million actually this morning, more than 230,000 and climbing fast. these partners have been employees and members of followers numbering in the tens of millions. this is the largest civilian mobilization since world war ii. due to the number of census workers, and the enormous public engagement that happens during these senses. we have twice as many partners as before and we think this congress for augmenting that with thousands of mobile assistance to better reach slow response areas. complete count committees exceed 10000. averaging more than 200 for state and dozens for congressional district and business partners range from small to the largest of many thousands of employees credit agencies and federal state and local levels. these partners range from single churches to entire denominations. education from single schools,
to school districts, colleges from small to the largest university system. with hundreds of thousands of students faculty and staff millions of alumni. we have more than 6000 higher education partners in the list grows. we want every school and every business as a partner. universal bipartisan support brings a nation together for this civic purpose pretty governors and local leaders have issued bipartisan proclamation support as did the u.s. senate. nearly all members of congress are partners in your help matters. we need leaders and trusted voices. we must work together and foster public trust and we must roll up your sleeves to maximize engagement and are senses professionals are confident, and excited and ready. all systems are go. the countdown is now in the national launch begins in one month. thank you for your oversight leadership and strong support and i think we have a couple of short ads from her national media campaigns that emphasize
how easy and safe and important the censuses. our ads will reach 99 percent plus of all households repeatedly. >> after sending your senses response, your personal information is kept safe. by law, it can't be shared with any other government agency, law enforcement, or anywhere else. so ticket 2020 senses with peace of mind. shape your future . start here. visit 2020 census .gov. >> it isn't complicated. my aunt and uncle did this. >> my new baby sister, she
counts. >> complete the census online or on the phone or by mail. start here at 2020 census .gov. >> we don't have a prepared statement from the associate director. >> chairwoman, members of the committee, it is a great pleasure to be here today to discuss our work, on the senses. i'm joined by my colleague, nick and we are honored to appear before this committee. we are also delighted many of our colleagues from gao this level and dedicated work to support the committee's oversight over number of years
are able to join us this morning. it has been mentioned a number of times on the censuses already begun with enumeration in remote areas of alaska and were a away from the first mailings going out to individuals that they can start responding via internet. as you know we had the senses to our high-risk list in february of 22017. for the past decade, we made hundred and 12 recommendations from the senses and most of which have been addressed by the bureau and some of which remain open for the information that nick and i will present today, is based on a report being issued today and 2020 census underway . readiness for upcoming operations. >> each member of the committee has a copy of that report. nipple cover it systems and cybersecurity. inventive interest of time, i will hit three quick points that were covered in the report. first of the bureau completed early operations on schedule. last october, the bureau
completed infield address canvassing operation or temporary field staff verified and updated over 50 million addresses across the country, and managed target date for opening questioner assistance contact centers basically call centers with public and call to ask questions or provide the senses. it is launches advertising command you just saw two examples of that . to sprint and social media television to spread word about the senses and encourage participation. and bureau has opened all 248 census areas offices that will be used to manage at the local level. this is all good and important news. second, the bureau is behind to recruit the applicants to work on the senses. the bureau estimates it will need to hire between 320,500,000 census takers. in the referred to as enumerators pretty deepening on the response rate. the size of those numbers are daunting enough, the bureau have long found that it needs several
times that in order to an applicant's in order to meet its hiring needs. today the bureau has recruited more than 2.1 billion applicants while noteworthy, and nonetheless this fall short of the interim target set for yourself, to reach 2.5 million applicants but no billing till as mentioned in the overall goal of 2.6 million. in addition, 202, of 248 area since his offices, fell short of their individual recruiting targets as of early february. this is concerning because the bureau does not recruit sufficient applicants, and may have difficulty hiring enough staff to complete upcoming operations and we need to delay increase cost in data quality. moreover the director just noted that the census while the national effort, as implemented locally communities and neighborhoods across the country, as recruitment and hiring success in one area may provide bullet advantage where efforts are legging.
third, the bureau also have establishing community partnerships. they're essential to educate the public and encourage participation in their for maximizing the response rate pretty frantically for hard account publishing such as persons with disabilities and persons experiencing homelessness. media outlets, organizations, healthcare organizations and the like. the bureau's goal is to have 300,000 community partners for next month. as of early february, is established over 238,000 of those however this fall short again of the bureau's goal which was to have 250,000 partnerships in place by the first of february. of course the quality of the partnerships ultimately matter much more than the quantity. the bureau will have a sense of how these partnerships are working for management reports, that will indicate the number of community partnerships and participating organizations by sector and audiences served in the number of events of the partners have sponsored.
and summary, while early operations have increased and completed on schedule, the bureau faces a number of challenges and upcoming major operations as nick will further elaborate. perhaps the key risk now is the response rate. long-standing census experiences taught me, and i levels of public participation include data quality, cost and reduce schedule pressure. this completes my prepared written statement. i'm prepared to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you for inviting gao for the discussion of the senses. that highlights a number of challenges facing the bureau. these include it systems readiness and cybersecurity. something about that for a moment, i want to highlight the complexity of administering between 20 census from 19 perspective as you know the
bureau is tasked with collecting information from over 100 million households across the nation. and do this with a constitutionally mandated time frames. to make it all happen, the bureau will rely on for two systems, the support census operations. many of the systems will be deployed multiple times in order to add functionality over the course of 16 operational deliveries. to the bureau's credit by the end of last month, it had successfully deployed systems for five operational deliveries. including recruiting hiring activities. however the bureau continues to face schedule risk for five of the remaining 11 operational deliveries. including chrysostom supporting internet self response. the bureau in fact recently identified availability issues that was preventing it from meeting its goal of having up to 600,000 users be able to concurrently access the internet response system without experiencing performance problems. and as a result the bureau decided late last week that it will instead use his backup
system to manage internet responses for the 2020 census. they design changes such as a shift from one system to another can introduce new risks during a critical moment. the internet response option is scheduled to be available to the public in exactly one month from today. therefore the bureau need to quickly ensure that the system is ready, and that continues to plans are finalized to reflect the change and fully tested before going live. with respect to cybersecurity the census bureau like all federal agencies, faces a growing number of cyber threats. web-based attacks and phishing campaigns have become commonplace in the world. in the present series of challenges to economic and national security and to personal privacy. in light of this growing threat, gao has designated cyber security is a high risk areas since 1997. to its credit, the bureau has made progress in assessing the security of the systems and authorizing and operations. they continue to leverage the expertise of dhs cyber security
known as separate conduct cybersecurity assessment and provide complicated support. nonetheless, significant challenges still remain in the bureau needs to continue taking steps to fully protect 2020 operations. specifically the bureau needs to maintain its focus on security improvements called for by its own assessments and those conducted by since i paraded and we that the bureau improve its ability t in the bureau agreed with us and is working to fully implement the recommendations. the bureau should also remain on social media. the bureau has been actively coordinating with social media platform providers offense rollout education and communication responses. we think such activities are risk essential. it is a rank of the technology innovations that the bureau plans to rely on for the 2020 census create opportunities for increasing efficiency and effectiveness of the counts.
however they also bring with them significant it and cybersecurity risk. ultimately the success of operations in the upcoming months, will be directly tied to how the bureau continues to manage these risks. this includes my statement. >> thank you very much. thank you to all of the participants today. and director steven dillingham, this report from gao is very troubling. and just like the witnesses we heard from, i guess it was last month, this new report seems to be sending flashing red lights warning the census bureau simply is not ready. and this important challenge before us maybe it's already. in the state report, and the testimony that we just heard, they warn adequate recruitment and hiring missed target dates, insufficient progress, working with community partners, and significant cybersecurity challenges etiquette sake the list goes on and on and on.
i want to give you a chance to respond. i knew gao gave you and gave us a report a week ago. soy is a census bureau so far behind in so many aspects of the preparations across the board. >> menon chairwoman. it's a very good question. let me say from the point of view of the census bureau, we are not behind. let me show you some charts. we provided members with charts today as to where we are. the first chart we have is recruiting chart pretty recruiting chart as pointed out by gao was based on self response rates. we have three scenarios here. the figures being cited, which we did, very ambitious goals, the worst case scenario is a self response rate dropped to 5, but if it did we would need or
want 2.7 million people recruited from which we would hire about a half million people. that is the worst case scenario. the next scenario, is a 60.5 percent and that is probably the more reasonable scenario in which case we would hire 320,000 people. as of this morning, we have two-point $3m completed applicants, two and half million and a started their applications and it's increasing about 20000 a day. we will meet the worst scenario bowls by the first week of march and then woke will surpass it. there is no doubt, we would like and currently have about four applicants for every position and we want five applicants. we actually would like more. so we're going to have those applicants and so the recruiting. that is the first thing i will address. >> what about the number of partners for compared to the goal.
>> let me show you mature woman on that. our partners, and we supplied you with these figures, here is where we are. we had a straight line. very ambitious goals. we set them up intentionally as being ambitious. to make sure we get the job done. >> i see the chart. i just want to point out that if we had been going on the red, we would had more preparation in place. i only have a few minutes. very strict time. let me get to the gao to respond if i could. but i think if we had hired, we would be in a better place right now. you are catching up pretty good. but during this period, the outreach to the communities, if you are a rural community or hard-to-reach community, the most important thing is getting these partnerships because they are the ones who know the people they know how to get the count. so i would like gao to respond. in your report reward that them census bureau, faces significant
risk that could adversely impact and cost quality, schedule and security of the counts. i want to know is that right, and would you elaborate a little bit. >> that is right. and to the point, the director has just mentioned on that. it is noteworthy and positive that the recruiting numbers are going up and that's exactly what we would want them to be. what we see with the census experience certainly in the three or four that i've been responsible for is that you can bleed through your recruitment dates very quickly. and you have not unexpectedly, turn over. the second part of that is that the national numbers we focus on those, but that is not that as the director mentioned, is implement it at a local level. it's concerning for us to have those 200 to 240 local offices that have not met their own targets on that. >> on that point, and i want to
put from your report, you said that the beer was behind in its goal to recruit more than 2.6 million applicants nationwide for upcoming operations. in the new report 2.1 million applicants recruited as of february 3rd, 2020, 44 of the bureau's larger target to reach more than 2.5. those numbers correct pretty. >> there correct as a director noted, very much moving target. literally thousands of new applicants everyday. but as of even earlier this week, the corrected numbers that we received from the census bureau. >> you also mentioned in a quote, one of the most important parts of the census are having these community partnerships in place and in your report and finds that you missed general milestones for establishing community partners. it is that right and how
damaging is that. and my time has expired after you respond. >> is a concern. certainly the environment that we are in now, the larger cultural environment is we need to to have people be part of this. do you believe in the integrity of their data. this is what partnerships do predict they are trusted voices in the community that can tell people you or we need to participate. the use of week language. it is good for us, good for the community and your data will be protected. that is not something that can come out of washington, that has to come from trusted local voices. >> thank you. and i want to recognize the gentleman from wisconsin. >> this is like a basketball player calling following
themselves. director steven dillingham, if i am a tourist, do we counter tourist. >> we do not count tourist. >> if i am a college student who is here for six months at do you count the college student. >> we count the college students if they are living here during the time of the senses. so the six months is a close call there. it is to long how long they will be living here. >> if i live in or my parents i am going to preen i am 18 again. if they live in wisconsin i go to college in illinois, emma counted in illinois and wisconsin. it. >> the methodology that was uses week cat where people are living so we actually count at the college campus. >> how do we make sure that the person isn't counted in that case in wisconsin. if the parents fill out the form and say sonny is with me and someone else is going to the
college dorm at the university of illinois, how do we make sure that they are not counted thereto. >> we have very procedures. that's one place where we really rely at our administrative data that sort of behind the scenes, we are messing up to see if there's a duplicate commission. if the college student answers the census at the college, and then their parents answer on their behalf in the hometown, we reconcile that and eliminate that. >> you can do that. how about if somebody goes somewhere to live with a buddy for a month. >> we do ask the individual where they are living. and we will probe as to where they are living in with the report is being living. that is where we count them. >> what if i've overstayed my visa. >> if you're a tourist, and you tell us that you are here only temporarily as a tourist, that is the information we have. and if you're from another
country then we would assume that to be correct. as to how about if i'm here illegally and i should be living. at what point would i be counted. >> we count everyone. wherever they are living. >> so if a medicament, emma counted. >> person very narrow exceptions if that are living in a consulate, then we don't count people who are actually in the consulate. >> hi but if i work at the consulate them stationed here performance. >> performance will probably be, if you're here in april the first, anyone answer that you are living here and do not indicate when we ask the question that i am going to ask the person with the most extreme here who actually oversees this. that is a question that we probe further as to the length of time
you are living here and in what capacity pretty. >> this time is here because were not nailing it down. >> the question is asked, where do you live or stay most of the time as of april 1st. and our senses realize on self declaration. so the person says that i stay at the cypress most of the time as of april 1st, they are counted at that address. >> end of most of the time it could mean that i'm returning to france in a month but i should still put down the u.s. citizen and most of the time, over the last five years last week . >> we use the guideline of about six months. it's correct so if i'm a diplomat for six months in a day i am supposed to be counted pretty. >> that is correct. >> is that clear the form. >> it is clear on the additional instructions to the form.
[inaudible]. student i am going to ask you this. it seems to me when cheating goes on and when people are worried here, is cheating. usually there is at least a perception of people vote twice that sort of thing. what you doing to make absolutely certain that somebody is saying armistice day or people are living in the state and there really are. that somebody is not filling out the form three times under three different names. how do we know that that is not happening. >> we have very elaborate post election, system on irs data, to verify that we are only counting people one time. this is not unique. it. >> i am going to ask you again, if i am somebody on a farm in california and somebody fills out the form for me and one day
i'm john smith and they fill in form intentions and they fill out the form on billy johnson, how do we know that somebody is sitting there cheating and filling out under two different names. it. >> we compare the census data to other data we already have it population estimates, and if there are add moralities to the count we are able to detect them at that time, and then we actually will send somebody out to verify this people's identity. >> if i do that, how will it be caught. i am somebody wants to cheat, somebody wants to say that there are more people in such a subject county in california and there are and i sit down and fell on a form under ten different names. >> we send out a numerator to actually verify that that person exist at that address. as much so everybody will get somebody to show up and count
that person. >> yes. >> there will be a person who will look at me. >> if your data is inconsistent. >> no not in consistent. i am saying that i just filled out ten forms with ten names and were in the united states ten years ago. we you catch that predicament yes that would be inconsistent data. our post collection processes, would bring the information to the light. and that is when we would send people out to verify. >> thank you very much for giving me the extra minute. ... ...
comes to mind when i think of the census going digital, so i'm interested in the bureau's plans in the event that the systems can experience some type of attack or disaster. something that is really terrifying to me, the 2,020th in this cloud environment did not have this after recovery option capable of restoring data lost in the event of a large-scale attack or disaster that subject
lost data that we can never recover. and of course the inspector general made several recommendations. i suppose i should ask you have you made upgrades to ensure that the data would not be lost in the event of a disaster, can you assure us that you could always recover data? >> be remedied all the issues that were pointed out by the inspectoinspector general, and e satisfied the testing of the system and we do have redundant storage. in the event that there was a some type of a catastrophe in which people could not reply on mine and her associate director can address this and tell you how many millions of additional form we have prepared on paper and we are ready to mobilize a different process for people to respond on paper, but we don't
foresee that happening in any way. >> >> i am talking about recovering data, not people using pen and pencil, but recovering data. some people had used the internet to respond. >> digitally responded i should say. >> i assure you we worked with the best minds and intelligence in our systems are continuously monitored 24/7. >> but he asks the inspector thr general, are you satisfied that at some point, all data could be recovered if there was some attack or something disaster? >> the report was from the dig.
we mentioned in our report that we are issuing today we are still waiting to see the bureau finalize their plans, and as i mentioned in my opening statement, this is especially important if in prayer one month away from software going live so it's important not only to document what it's going to do in the event that a primary system needs to spill over to the backup system and so that's why we continue to emphasize that as a key point. >> it looks like we don't have the contingency. we don't have any way to recover data is lost, and we are waiting for that response, that report. >> we started they do in multiple areas in th and the clo ensure security and we back it up regularly.
>> that is all i want to know. i was concerned with the testimony we have received from appointed officials and this is what they say. i firmly believe that we need a plan to make sure that it has adequate paper forms and had the capacity not worked as we saw previously. does the census bureau currently have enough paper forms to use in the event of a system failu
failure. it is one of many ways the public can respond to the survey and i can defer to the specifics on what i can convey is that their approach to how they are going to interface with the public is directly tied to the availability within those areas, so the approach they may take me include actually providing a rich in paper form for someone to fill out or it may have a postcard for things that get sent to encourage folks to go online. in the event that someone doesn't respond to the survey online, the bureau has plan to eventually provide them with a paper form and if they don't feefill the outcome have an enumerator. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. it seems like a lot of the contingencies depend on the soft response rate. how do you estimate the soft
response rate and how do you think it is going to change this decade because of the internet option. we looked at the 2016 test, 2018 and testing 2019 and also concurred with our colleagues from other censuses throughout the world. one of the things on a global basis, people's propensity to respond to surveys have declined over the last two to three decades and therefore we are projecting 60.5% which is lower than the total response rate but they have in the 2010. the chart we have the top line
assumed a 55% soft response rate which is lower than any of the models projected. they have the midrange just over 60%. >> for the american community survey. >> the american survey as you know now has offered every county in the country. we sent out an actual field representative to collect the data into the complete response rate for that in the 90% range but the soft response rate is lower than we would expect for the census that is basically a ten question form.
>> i got a copy of proof and it seems like if i got this in the mail, it would take me to put a lot more thought into it before i respond. >> if somebody gets the wrong one in the mail -- everybody gets the short one. what is your goal on the response rate? >> i can get back to you on that. on the front page of this on my mobile device i'm glad to report i can see it even on an antiquated device.
i put that on my congressional page and i don't want it on my page because i know a lot of people give up to that same innards for internet security but do you anticipate that is going to slow down the response rate. my understanding is that this not on the census form. the issue that you are raising is exactly right in the prior census we used to have two forms, the short form and a version of the community serving called the longform, the response rates were like ten percentage points different. congress and the bureau said it's taking too much time and effort in the census to do the longform lets have a completely different survey on the time
frame. at the teof the ten or so questn the short form were now the only form and that is as was mentioned at the bureau is looking for a 68.5% response rate. >> can people use their telephone to do the short form? >> we have different ways to respond, online, by phone or on paper. >> that sounds good to me. is there a way to ensure integrity as the deadline approaches, let me tell you a story a census worker that i know in the community ten or 20 years ago sai said when they go towards the engottowards the en, the manager said this debate could drive by and count the number of bicycles in the yard and they can't guess how many kids are there. but i'm concernewhat i'm concere deadline approached and the integrity of the data goes down.
the example h example i gave isl and there's not a lot of pressure towards the end to skip a few steps and maybe that is designed into the system. a little bit of data is better than none. what are the steps you're taking to make sure you get to the guidelines that they don't start putting too many corners. to ensure the process is followed throughout the census. now, to your point, if we have a person that is only going to get some data at the census we will take the data that they provide. the actual responded to dat davr the proxy data for the tv to one of the things that enhances our
ability to get certified data in 2020 is we are using administrative records to be able to fill in places where we do not get people's responses. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland for five minutes. >> ester chairman, thank you very much. this committee has been focused like a laser beam on the census. we have a duty to make sure all persons are counted in the united states. this is necessary for fair and efficient distribution of governmental resources so we have been focused since the beginning on this. any suggestion that the committee is responsible for the problems experienced by the census bureau is of course absurd. the trumpet administration, not
this committee, tried for nearly a year to add in a legal citizenshian illegalcitizenshipe census and of course was tied up in courts for months until the supreme court di to be obvious d struck down the question is completely outside of the normal administrative process and they should have dealt with all of the complexities rather than advancing this political agenda but this committee has been focused as a top priority for two years now on march 6 at 2019 and we held on the gao risk list and concerns about census preparation. may 29, 2019, the subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties which i chair on the hearing in new york and the interception of the districts and on what states and local
communities are doing to prepare for the 2020 census and how they can be more actively engaged in the process. on july 24 the last year the subcommittee held a hearing in the testimony and january 9 of this year the committee hold a hearing with experts and advocates on the risk of what we are doing to combat it january 21 we wrote a letter to the bureau seeking documents on political aspects of the census planning including hiring technology. we hope to overcome the administration to sabotage the census with its citizenship questioned struck down by the united states supreme court.
i wanted to ask you a question. i've heard from some of my constituents that the census bureau may be placing ads with media outlets primarily owned or were influenced by the chinese government in the asian-american community. they appear to be suggesting that the chinese government influenced companies have somehow gotten the market on our census outreach and i wonder if you know anything else about this and what the bureau might be doing to make sure the media companies that they are using are based in the united states and free from the influence. >> in baltimore with him and others i've been to your
district but with the entire delegation we appreciate your commitment to getting a full account. with regards to come and i understand it was neither in the press or the social media about this chinese influence on the information i received for absolutely false. we had no contract with that entity and there was no media engagement in a entity whatsoever that we can provide you details on that but i'm told that story was absolutely false. the larger question on a media campaign. we have two commercials this morning and i think they captured some attention for some of the people in the room. but we have dozens upon dozens of advertisements and contact with firms that reached the diverse communities and we are
very proud and have specifically tailored advertising in certain languages. in that area there were local newspapers at the supermarket etc. and we discussed with the specialists the possibility of how he can get some of our advertising into the local media in the channels they use and radio stations and stuff that they may be listening to. so we will be glad to work with you and they are working with you. may they outreach is as diverse as possible as you are suggesting.
recognizing the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan for five minutes. >> they gave their opening comments thacomment that it wasd news bad. to get the employees you need it sounds like you are behind in both numbers back to the enumerator is it sounds like you are behind hi on the partnership issue and then of course talking about cyber security concerns as well. so congratulations on being
there in the early stuff but now it's the real deal with members of congress and they like to know you can get there and have the charts of earlier but i want to give you a chance to respond to those. >> if we want them to jump in -- >> thank you very much. i certainly would enjoy them and invite them to join in as need needed. we set very ambitious goals and one showed a straight line to reach the worst-case scenario we operate. 2.5 million have begun so we are quite confident these people are not yet, they are going to be enumerator is so we are very
pleased to. we provide them the information of our schedules and they will remind us you didn't eat your goal to some extent they are right and we appreciate that. but when we started the census and ha had the original plan, we have more than 27,000 tasks to do and schedules for those into testings of the systems, 25,000 tax so when we get down to the fine numbers, it's very important and we do work and whenever they identify the risk, we address the risk until you we have a very good track record so the systems are tested. recruiting is going to exceed the most ambitious goal.
our partnerships already surpassed the last census appointed a reached at the end of the census and we are a month out before we even do the first mailing so we are way ahead of what's needed. >> applicants, employees, enumerators. tell them about the it concerns. it will give them a chance to respond. >> i can tell you that we have not missed any operational testing deadlines for the 2020 census. the other risk i pointed out anytime we have anything pending and so we are on the track but all 2020 census systems have been successfully tested and deployed or are on track for deployment for example we have a system that will deal with the
post-enumeration survey after the completion of the census to doublecheck another way of looking at the numbers. now, we've tested that system in the past and it worked but we are going to test it again. we feel very comfortable it has a high degree of competence. >> i appreciate all the hard work and i know you are working hard. i want to give another minute to respond. >> thank you and i know they will talk about it in just a moment that the good news is we are working on with the set of facts are and we would agree on this today on the other hand i'm paid to worry on your behalf. the big concern we have is operationally they can be looking good at the top level even though we haven't some of the interim goals but the concern is th that response rat. it is 60.5% they are hoping to achieve would still have a 61 million households for follow-up.
you can bleed through the recruitment space very quickly in the enumerators for that and so it gets up to 55 or goes as well as the 55% which would be very bad if you are at 66.7 million households but that have to follow up on. so, six-week from now when we start seeing the response rate is a good feeling and more concerned. i think the title of the report talks about the preparedness. where my where he presides is wt in the time. we are sort of in a pressure cooker of time to get a lot of things done to the key operations. you mentioned in your statement
as well about the fact they are one month away from the respond at the beginning of the enumeration process they have a lot of work ahead to complete. with what they said theybut thef effort into the testing. it's the result of the rigorous testing that the bureau is undertaking some at the end of the day i think that the risk still exists a is that the amout of work within a short-of time. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think we can agree that the states are too high for the census bureau to have a one-size-fits-all approach to advertising and community outreach and i certainly appreciate that you have a large volume.
i'm proud to represent a majority minority community that is filled with people from all over the world with concentration of venezuelans. effectively communicating and building trust with my constituents is going to be notably different in terms of the way we connect with them and reach out to them than it would be. they've taken the responsibility to understand all of the communities you must reach to have a complete and accurate count. they wrote you recently requesting information on the status of the community and partnership engagement program and as for the response by december 13, 2019.
the work is ongoing because the list is growing and you've committed tis committedto these, quote help, that is baffling because if you are a public partner, one would think that they would be public. what exactly is the purpose of having a come debate copartner promote the importance of filling up the census. it's important for us to know who we can work with another
local communities. i've been very engaged in the account committee locally and it would be very helpful to know which organizations in my district have had a formal relationship with you an and wod also provide information about how to define what would you consider to be a local partner because that would be helpful, too. >> let me first begin by saying that. when i went to the committee, we ran out of time. the room was filled with partners. >> i would like an answer to my question. >> and for the responsibility, i agree with you.
we find that as partners and i'm informed that we need to doublecheck. some may not have given us permission at the time. one of the current issues is the release of that information which is under review. >> that doesn't make sense the length of time that we send until two days ago is more than enough time up until the 13th, you had more than enough time to get the answers to questions, to get permission from the public organizations that are partners on the census, otherwise they shouldn't be partners if they
are not willing to make their name public. and again, the census is less than eight weeks away. if you are committed to reaching out to the communities, then we need that information now. >> i will do whatever i can to give you thaget you that inform. >> today is wednesday. can we be assured of having it by friday. all that leave the department of commerce go through a process. >> who controls whether or when that information is released to the public and to the members of congress that we can make sure that we can maximize account of hard to count communities.
>> you can't tell me who is in charge? who is in charge of getting permission for that and if they are not letting you release it. >> i would have to get back to you. >> is it being finished and you are being told you cannot release? >> if i knew the answer -- >> are you telling me that you don't know who is in charge of letting you know that you can release it with you while tony? -- you won't tell me? >> i expected very soon. >> i want you to know who is preventing you from releasing it. who is responsible for telling you that you can release the information? position, title, name.
>> you are the director of the census and you don't know who is responsible for receiving the items? >> people review it and looked to see that it's in accordance with the law and whatever regulations may apply. i am not fulfilling that. >> you are supposed to be telling the truth to the committee. it really is hard to believe that you don't know who is responsible for reviewing the material that you need permission to release when we ask for them. >> i can generally refer to those that are in the review process and it is usually people with legal responsibility. >> i do not perceive a delay.
>> i would like an answer today when the information is going to be released so that we can effectively work across the districts with our public and community partners and the director of the census bureau allows them to be public. >> i don't know who they are. >> they can certainly -- >> you can't even tell me who it is that is holding it up or responsible for reviewing it. >> it's an obstacle that you are throwing in the path of trying to make sure we can get hard to count communities counted and that is obvious.
ask whoever is sending up the food chain and who is responsible for it and let us know as soon as possible. >> the gentleman from louisiana for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you for your endeavor to serve by delivering an accurate census count. i believe sometimes they can get a little too close to a particular mission and we lose the 30,000-foot view.
perhaps the committee has been overly focused on one particular aspect of the census or another. i believe has lost sight if we are addressing the cultural change in the country since the last census a decade ago and despite the best efforts including you gentleman and the many scores of thousands of men and women that will attempt to serve and gather data. i believe when we reconvene people will reflect and ponder how we missed it so much. the last decade has seen an
incredible saturation of social media and communications interactions that we haven't seen prior and one of the aspects of that unending communication is a criminal endeavor which every american has been touched by. you have untol millions of americans that have been victims of scam. the whole government entities and municipal state, federal bubbllevel. the culture has been subjected to a continuous barrage of the endeavor all of which began with a request for personal information. a decade ago when someone knocked on your door and you
answered your door, a decade ago the phone rang, you answer the phone. this has changed. i ask you what is the census doing? how are you going to penetrate this protection and secrecy that we have rightfully as an american citizenry if we have responded to the garage of criminal attack that has been made manifest over the last decade, how are you going to get through that, we have not discussed that in this round. it really impacts the elderly in the country. i believe we are going to reflect a year from now and find it to be a failure because we failed to address this cultural change. i asked you for a response.
>> thank you for your statement with regards to security. let me begin to frame it at a higher level first and then the associate director with many years of experience can tell you what they are doing on the frontline to combat fraud. it is very important and it's one of the earlier things shown we protect the information that comes to the census bureau. we have an excellent track record that subject you to years in prison congress passed the law in the 1950s. however, i think that you are bringing up also what about conducting the census are there opportunities for fraud and identity associate director can tell you --
>> how are you going to conduct the census in a nation where the culture has changed regarding the dissemination of personal data, if the phone rings now it is not a known contact, nobody answers the phone. if somebody knocks on your door and they don't know who that is, they don't answer the door. they call the police. how are you going to penetrate this? >> if i may, there are three primary things we are focused on. number one, you need people with trust th of the community, past, community leaders and staff. so we are saying hell do we get the trust.
saying that it's important for them to participate and that the data is safe. the second thing i is people gog about knocking on doors are from the community. the key is hiring people familiar to speak the languages and knock on doors. >> is there a plan to reach through those avenues? >> we have a program of how we get talked to pastors and churches engaged. we have an initiative which the congress actually mandated that we set up for 2020 and funded with $90 million for the west appropriation. it allows the census person to go to grocery stores where people were assembled with a device and work with the people
to actually take the enumerations. we can take your information right there at that point in time, but we shall see. thank you, mr. chair for your indulgence. >> the gentlema gentleman yieldt recognizes the gentleman from illinois for five minutes. >> this marks the first time the census will be conducted mostly online yet more than a quarter of american adults don't have access to high-speed internet at home, this digital divide affects people who were less likely to have broadband access than other americans. my district is urban, suburban and rural and i found about six
census briefings across my district and in my most rural area of the gentleman from the census that said 40% of the people don't have access to the internet and of course as you know this isn't just a night had people in the city of chicago that don't have access. according to the data from pew research, 44% earned less than 30,000 do not have broadband service at home and hispanic and black adults also don't have broadband access and 59% of americans 65 years and older have broadband s so one of the internet would make it easier for some people to participate in the census, i am concerned that relying on the internet self response will make accounting hard to count populations even harder so what is the census bureau doing to make sure that they are counted in 2020 including those that are
in areas where the bureau is using the internet self response? >> we've been in areas of new york and across the country. we are doing a lot but keep in mind people to answer in three different ways. they can get on their phone come it doesn't have to be a smart phone, or they can answer on the internet with a smart phone or computer or they can do it on paper so in those areas we've already determined that his low end of the associate director can give you great detail, we are identifying those 20% of the country an in our first mailinge send out the paper, we send it out on paper, other areas we send out on the fourth mailing and do a total of four that we haven't heard from people.
but in new york city etc., we have partners all across the nation. the american library association has all of its member libraries across the nation to open their doors and we've been through those. it's so in portent. they wanted a storefront operation which people could come in and the assisted. we don't do that. but in meeting with the mayor, former senator from maryland, the chair of the committee etc., we identified 80 different locations people could use the computer so if they want to use a computer, there would be more avenues than ever and at the same time they could make a simple phone call and give it on the way to work. we don't want them to do it while driving a car into the tens of the information that
they were doing on paper if they don't then we send someone to collect it from them. >> the census bureau is using centers to provide on the ground help with those struggling however to my knowledge the bureau is yet to release plans for the location so would these be available in areas with limited broadband access? >> we can give you a lot of details, but what we do that is one of the primary benefits of this we can take the technology in and reached the hard to count. one of the things the associate director can tell you our schedule we will start out in those low response areas but whenever we work with our partnership specialists and community, wherever there's an event where everyone points to a need for examples of the city of detroit had t it happened to bea doughnut shop we can bring the
technology they are to assist people. >> what efforts are you making to educate individuals on how to fill the forms out, like seniors of those with low english proficiency? >> we kind of present an easy picture for them but if they have specific questions, there's toll-free numbers and centers around the country with 9,000 employees taking them off and getting assistance. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chair. i know we are all concerned about the potential lender account. when the census was completed ten years ago, immediately room for cleaning there was a massive undercount. if you recall, can you answer this question with the estimated
that is where the majority of the undercounted were. when i look at the urban versus rural versus urban even the reservation areas i look at that and it's not a consistent picture across the geographic areas for example. they have primary populations and others are among the best in the country. a lot of people do get confused with self response and undercount. at the end of the day when we send the enumerators around, we are going to get as close as possible to the complete accou
account. the final count is the official so maybe you disclose what it looks wicked i that it is goingn california if it looks like there are groups that are undercounted when they have to groups ithegroups in rural amere minority groups they can have an opportunity to protest or challenge the count. this is the count. as we analyze the data and determine the response rate and have accurate data there's a post enumeration that is totally independent that we match up with the results to see how closely match.
mr. fetters touched on a good point when he was here that the culture changed last years. people don't answer phone number they don't recognize. people don't open doors from people they don't know but something else has changed over the last decade. the scammers have gotten better at getting people to respond to this and and i'm worried you're going to take advantage of the advertising campaign and they are going to target people to collect the information or get their foot in the door. i even saw a congressional piece of mail that came from the congressional office that was made to look like a census survey would get a better response rate from the constituency and collect their e-mails. there was no nefarious purpose, but tha it is well known peopleo respond to the census more than random e-mails from somebody.
so what are you doing to prevent it but most importantly, how fast are you going to be able to respond to these. to try to get $20 from somebody to track their social security form or whatever and it's been a tremendous frustration with facebook come it takes them days to stop th stop spam and then is up again because they were making money. if the chair and would indulge the witnesses and myself to give them time to answer the process, tony what you are doing to prevent this and what your response team looks like it is going to be. we have a 24/7 fusion center that is manned with personnel and monitoring activities we meet every day and have
agreements with one of the technology firms you mentioned as well as others as well as responding to it with the federal agencies. as well as having some of those service providers like facebook and others take the information down. so, we work with them, for them with many, many months and we are monitoring on a real-time basis each and every hour of every day. >> thank you mr. chairman and id to the witnesses for being here today. for the outreach efforts to
reach those that don't have english as their primary language, my understanding is one of five people in america have a primary language other than english that they speak at home and approximately 400 languages that dialect here in the united states. they represent part of little saigon which is the largest vietnamese population outside of vietnam and many are refugees. there is efforts to reach those through the internet often people don't have access to the internet. to reach those individuals so the written ballot doesn't help and also had challenges accessing the internet.
we are doing more than ever before in the area and actually to provide assistance in the 12 other languages and then we have material at 59 languages so more than 99% of the population with our language assistance. however, as you mentioned, you mentioned 400 dialects etc.. i saw figures for the people retired represent 500 languages and dialects. i didn't know there were that many but there are many out there and if we find in individual language problem that doesn't fall within our material or the assistance that we provide we will find an expert usually from the educational community or from the person's community to assist us to reach that individual particularly when it comes down to the actual
enumeration. fothe communications campaign developing more and more materials and we've had focused groups with a lot of the groups that have special language nee needs. what is being done on the ground to make sure that we are giving everyone their engaged in the counted. >> we hire enumerators from the communities, so that is one of the best ways but there's others that are mentioned. >> the partnership specialists that are hired to work in the community are familiar in that community and fun that community
that the effort is to make sure we hire enumerators but also speak the languages because they are from the community. and the point of fact in los angeles, the regional director for the los angeles region is a vietnamese refugee. it's not that community though. we are looking at every one of our diverse communities in terms of how can we make sure that the people that come work in that community relief to the people that are in that community and understand the languages they understand the customs that are able to effectively take the census message. >> going back to those that don't speak english or spanish as a primary language but have access to the internet, my understanding that there are tutorial videos but there's only tutorial videos, spanish and english, this seemed like a
pretty easy lift on behalf of you to be able to address this by adding additional videos and other languages. is there a commitment to? >> there are other videos, yes. >> and how many, if you know. >> all 59 primary languages. >> we've had difficulties about what is available to native hawaiians pacific islanders and the only native american language representatives is that changed to make sure those subsets of the demographics are being addressed? >> the way we are going to reach those as demographic to actually be effective in those areas.
>> for some of those language challenges we have partners in hawaii and one of the great contributions they make is that on their own they will translate the promotional material so we do count on our partners to assist and this is one of the most valuable areas for more than a quarter of a million partners is the language assistance. >> thank you for the answers, hard work, commitment and i will yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member and all of you for being here today. over the past year, we have met in this room to hold hearings on the census. unfortunately, due to the aggressive partisan hearings that have dominated our attention, i feel like our duty is to conduct oversight over the census has been severely lacking. we only have a month to go until the constituents will begin
responding to this very, very important program and i truly hope the efforts have been enough. language is not an issue, but fofour of the 18 counties in the district have 100% of the population living in hart county neighborhoods. i spent the lasi've spent the lr visiting every one of my 18 counties and i can tell you firsthand how google might community is. it's critical we count each and every one of our constituents no matter how difficult it may be. thank you for being here today to answer questions and concerns, and i think you are doing a very good job. in rural areas, what is the census bureau's plan to target those constituencies that are like mine?
>> we very much are engaged in trying to reach those communities and we know that west virginia had the particular challenges with connectivity as one of the major challenges. our partners program is one that's very important that we have partners every state and have the complete committee. but we are trying to reach in many different ways and administering the census we focus on the hard to count with some of the new technologies that we have. when we have these mobile systems that can go out into the communities and they will collect the information and we have the partners in the communities like the american library association etc.. ..
we have the capability of monitoring real-time during the census a tool which will show in each track what the response rate is. that will allow us to say in this particular track within west virginia, we need to devote more resources and we need to get there with her mobile assistants and help them with the senses. those are some of the ways in addition to the communication of the campaign that we have where we do by radio, by news print and other ways to reach the populations as well as the groups, there are many groups in the rural area that we work with have agriculture connection or perhaps in west virginia with the mining communities in other activities and professions in west virginia. we will work through those and that's why business partners are also very important. >> ironically, yesterday i was dealing with an individual who can't get electricity to his
home because you have to go through several properties in a mining area and i'm thinking how you count those people when they don't even have electricity. so that is important. many of them have low response rates in 2010, have you learned from those challenges, a strategy for targeting those from the household the house low mail back. >> congresswoman, we do. it may be our associate director will ask in more detail. particularly looking at the last census, we identify those low response areas, we also mentioned earlier the american community survey which details for us each year what the response rates are in those communities and what the challenges are. so we use that data, we have a data-driven response to reach the hard to come people, let me ask her associate director if he has worked out on. >> congresswoman, a lot of the things we do is increase the
number of numerators that will be working on the street in your community and nonresponse follow-up because we know historically you have have low response rate areas and therefore that means i need to put more people on the street. our efforts are to make sure we hire enough people for those communities that they going collect on the doors, but it's a next phase. the other thing, i mentioned earlier, the mobile questioner assistant which is designed to enhance self response by sending census people out early to go around and spend time with the local communities helping them take the response on senses instruments or if an activity using the phone. i know some activity problems in the states i spent time in beckley when we were doing the test, i wondered around and lost
an activity many times. yes we are aware of those challenges and we believe putting people on the ground directly will counter some of those challenges. >> i appreciate that, iran out of time. i yield back. >> the gentlelady yield. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from michigan for five minutes. >> they can mr. chairman, we are rightfully concerned about communities like mine in the 2020 census. something in particular concerned about is the lack of representation on the form of people who look like me, starting in 2015 a research effort spanned years under the previous administration led by the office management and budget by community organizations like access in the american institute and many others. with push to add the new category in the 2020 survey called middle eastern north african. in 2015 director the category went into the field for testing on a binding census bureau
recommended the inclusion in the category of the 2020 census. despite these findings however, the census bureau announced under the current administration that the category would not be included in the census. do i look white to you? >> congresswoman, i think if you tell me what you identify with, i think i would respect that. >> so director, are you aware that people like me who are arab and eastern north african have to indicate that they are white on the u.s. census. >> congresswoman, we actually have -- i understand there was a process in deciding, certainly before he got to the senses, and the history to coming up with questions in the race and ethnic city categories. -- >> they ignored him.
the previous administration ignored it. but if i circled white category, that would be an accurate of my racial and ethnic background? >> congresswoman we do not second-guess what you put down and we do have a writing. >> you are not giving me an option, there is a reason why the recommendation happened. circling whites on the census change my experience as a person of color in our country. even saying that, you understand there is a different when you actually have to check that box. because the community like others relies on accurate senses, representation for health research, director. language assistance, civil rights laws and reporting educational outcomes. in addition it would help address things like crime reporting, minority business owners get loans and drawing congressional and state legislative boundaries. under. do you believe it's important to
better collect racial and census participants of middle eastern and north african descent? >> congresswoman -- i say by having the right i writing prov- >> it does not have the same impact, that's why the community push to add the category and they did it right, they went to the process and they got it approved. in this administration decided to ignore them and make them invisible again. that is what you are doing, you are making us invisible, the continued absence of this ethnic category is erasing us, the living, working and raising a family here. i truly believe it needs to be addressed and we need your leadership to put under pushback on the current administration. being represented on an official government federal form that decides around funding, decide how they will tweet us and push
language assistance and all those things. director, we need to get it right because i am not white, and i don't try to say to others that you should be this or that. but when i sit on this form and look at it, i don't see myself represented on this form. and i think that's an issue for people like me and i need you to do more and pushing back against the current administration ignoring what the previous administration was able to do. the in the u.s. census bureau decided to add mina and ignored it. >> congresswoman, i assure you that we continue to study race and ethnicity in the options for self reporting -- let me just say -- we want your views and were beginning to process looking at the 2030 census. >> it's too late because for ten years we will be invisible. the health research, small
business loans, we'll be invisible for another decade in our country. and i think it is wrong and it was wrong to ignore the effort of not only the office of management and budget but the organizations and others who follow the process, did what they needed, get public input to make sure we are seeing finally by the own federal government. thank you,. >> the chair recognizes the ranking member yes, sir meadows for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to do a little bit of cleanup if i can. congresswoman debbie was asking about documents and time frames. here's what i am requesting of you. we need to know who is in charge
of finally releasing the information, we need to know a reasonable timeframe and her request can be given. and i need you to get that to this committee this week. are you willing to do that? >> congressman i certainly will do everything that i can. >> -- let me interrupt you, that was a softball question. >> i understand congressman. we will get back -- >> this is not my first rodeo, i get this from the previous administration, i needed this week, are you willing to do th that, you have people behind you, turn around and ask them right now because we will wait until you give us an answer, turn around and ask them. if not, do not bring them here. >> i think i got a firm yes for
you. >> i appreciated thank you. it comes across as if you're trying to hide information. >> it should not be this hard. just basic respect from the members of the congress, each one represents 727,514 americans. just on that basis, you should have the decency and respect for the members of congress sitting here who have been elected by the constituents, given the information that they are old and deserve. i yield back. >> congressman, i agree with both of you on this, just by way of explanation we try to recruit as many partners as we can and were putting the list together in the early stages, some did not give us permission to use and so we need to remedy that and i think we have the remedy is what i just heard, even if
you have five or six people that said there are others here and they understand because of privacy, i just think that you can respond and answer her question. you and i have talked, i know you're not trying to hide anything but it was coming across that way. >> i appreciate it. the other thing that i would ask each of you, i probably have been to more senses hearings than any other member of congress. it was not on my bucket list. there are going to be some problems, there will be some major problems. here is what i'm asking you doctor, if you would, if there is a major problem, i do not
want to read about in the washington post or the new york times. if you would get with the chairman and let us know, even if a has to be discrete, if you are seeing a problem, we want to know about the problem right away, are you both willing to do that. >> , we are and we have every opportunity, we brief your staff on a regular basis, we breathe all the caucuses that were mentioned earlier and we are very transparent organization and that's the way we do our business. >> and guess what i'm saying, when the problem comes up, i do not want to hear about it from gao -- go-ahead, i saw you raise your hand. >> ms. meadows as you know the strategy that we have in place, they've directed us to make sure some are sitting behind us, we have a strike team -- if we see a localized problem, we will be able to get in there right away and obviously report back to the congress. >> thank you to our entire team.
we go with your predecessor mr. thompson, i had a number of meetings and was really concerned in terms of progress with gao and others, we are in a much better place today than we were a year ago and certainly than we were three years ago. at the same time because it is new technology and new methods of collecting this data, we want to make sure we have an accurate count but one that is quotable that will withstand screening. so if you see areas of concern if you would please others know that would be very helpful. the other thing that i want to come back to, in terms of the multiple pinging of not responses. when we send out letters, a lot of times those letters are going to places that honestly are not
deliverable and we don't get those back from the post office until long after the response. if you can look at areas on the nonresponses with our community partners, native american lands, minority communities, rural communities, few can look at those, i know you are but what i guess over the next 60 days, double down on that as we started this process in earnest, i would greatly appreciate it. i see you are nodding for the record, i guess were all in agreement. is that correct? i yield back. i thank you. >> the gentleman yields, the turnover can is is a gentlewoman mrs. porter for five minutes. >> hello, i want to ask you of an example of senses disinformation. that is already spreading trade through the postal mail.
individuals across the country including michigan, california, alabama and other places have reported receiving a questionnaire in the meal of 2020 congressional district census but this is not from the census bureau, it is not a census, and is a fundraising mailer from the republican national committee. i had a copy of this mailer here and i would like to send it into the record. >> without objection. >> this questionnaire is labeled as a census document that was requested by document under president trump, it is to be returned within seven days with an accurate tabulation and dependable result and it says enclosed is your official congressional district census and people are given a registration code that is specific to them a several digit number, not unlike what they're going to be getting to go online to complete the census. this is not the first time that
we have seen the rnc, trying to confuse voters. by sending them a mailer that imitates the census, they did the same thing in 2010 compton congress to pass a law trying to stamp out this conduct. but here we are, ten years later in the rnc is add it again. doctor billingham, are you familiar with the rnc mailer customer. >> i heard about the problem. >> have you seen a customer. >> neu have not. >> we have sent it to this postal bureau for investigation, can you please commit to reviewing this. >> i'm asking personally will you review to commit this? >> i certainly will. >> have you asked rnc to cease-and-desist from using the term 2020 census or official census and its mailings questioning. >> congresswoman i would have to
look and see. i'm not sure who sent that out. >> i am because i have reading glasses. i'm sure you're going to be able to see the spring on page two, this little bitty box, four to 6.5, paid for by the republican national committee. will you ask the rnc to stop using the terms 2020 census official census in a registration census code. >> we will study this problem, let me tell you what we do for avoiding any type of scam. >> i would love to ask you more generally about this, i am concerned about this and this mailing has already gone out. so the time to stop it was actually before it happened and when the first reports came into your office, we know californians have called the rnc, somebody's elderly parent,
the adult child called rnc, asked them to stop sending these things to the parent in the rnc which i realize you are not responsible for, but the rnc told them that this was an order by donald trump to send out to people and they must comply with us. the census is already facing so many problems with this information, this fake census from the rnc will only increase confusion and distrust, i call on you to do everything that you can to accurately combat, they were being mailed in 2019. this is been an issue for over a year. we should all, regardless of parties avoid politicizing the census. do you agree? >> i agree we should not confuse any mailings with the census. absolutely. >> what actions is your team taking to prevent this. >> we do have on a website ways
for people to report this, for avoiding scams and fraud, we remind them, don't ever give your social security or donations, don't do anything on behalf of a political party with anything to do with the census, don't use your credit card et cetera. we put out advice and then we try to make sure we dominate any communication with more accurate advice as well as reports. >> iva question because i'm glad you have the correct information on your page. do you track census scams and will you share the information with this committee as well as with other partners and stakeholders so that they no it is false when people bring impaired what system do you have to accurately encourage people to self-report and will you share what is being self-reported because i want to know how many americans contacted the census bureau to complain about this form, will
you provide me with an upper. >> when we have the information we will get that total to you. >> thank you so much i yield back. >> i recognize myself for five minutes. you are the director of information technology and cybersecurity is that correct? >> i noticed from the report, a couple of things they are saying this will be the first census or the internet shall be the preferred mode of communication and yet further down on the report and says we still have significant problems with cybersecurity within the census system, is that correct. >> more generally i think what were concerned about is we have a census that will be relying on technology and a response at the time cyber threats are really high. >> let me ask you, the other hat i were on the other committee is on syntax and we look a lot at
block taking applications. is this the type of system i know the block chain is used extensively on databases and registries in other countries. is this -- are we looking at anything like that where we can use a more secure system, distributed system, one that is less vulnerable in terms of where the census is going. >> with respect to the 2020 census i'm not aware block chain was explored as a possible two. it's entirely possible in the lead up that may be an option for them to consider. this is in every tenure process, you would think the time to start would be now. >> in reality the internet response capability was earlier tested and considered in the early part of this decade as well.
in reality the bureau is already pursuing and making plans for 2030 and they will turn its eyes in that direction to see what sort of planning is taking place in the next year. >> i know at least today there were privacy issues because a block chain is transparent and public. but i also know there are permissions of block chain worchester parties have access and encryption allows us to use an ominous representation but given the uses we are applying the census data to for federal funding, a number of congressional seats, that is all data gives people in this country and actual identity. there is a lot at stake here. i just open your position, you might be the person to drive the
process actually, obviously we can order a study in the census to undertake a review of block chain liability within the census, i'm sure my colleagues and i can put something together on both sides of the aisle but it would be prudent to take the initiative on your part to explore some of these possibilities. >> yes, sir. essentially two things that jail is doing right now, we are monitoring as you see through the report issue on what is taking place right now in the preparation for the 2020 census. having said that, as your initiative we are looking at privacy and the extent to which the bureau is anticipating once it collects information and how it will protect and it's entirely up to the congress to ask us to look at issues like exploring whatever possible technologies that can be explored for the future of 2030 as well. we would be happy to entertain
that. it has been proven to be tamperproof and there's immune ability aspect is very strong, i do realize there are witnesses on privacy right now although there's a lot of really smart people working on that issue and scalability issues. the fact that this is a decennial census, it would appear to be something that would lend itself to that type of process. i know some other countries are looking at that as well. my time is a most expire, i will yield in the turner recognizes the gentleman from missouri. >> thank you, mr. chairman and think all of the witnesses for being here. director, good to see you again. the black community is historically undercounted in the 2010 census, black communities were undercounted by 2.1% or
roughly 700 or 78000 people. it is crucial that the bureau now work to address the historic issue of accurately counting the black community during our hearing last month. mark, the ceo of the national urban league testified, 60%, this is the census bureau research, 60% of african-americans are going to rely on the doorknocker to provide information, notwithstanding the internet, notwithstanding the telephone and notwithstanding the paper form. that number is much higher than the national average of approximately 45%. so doctor billingham, how has the bureau adapted to any plans
to address the black community specifically. >> congressman clay, it's very important that we reach the black community as with all communities but certainly there is more challenges sometimes with the minority community in particular the black community. we appreciate the work that the urban league and others are doing to assist us, there are partners in this effort. as i begin with my opening statement, we never underestimate the potential assistance that we can get from our partners across the nation, and particular from those groups that are working closely with the black community and we also need the leadership in the black community as a trusted voices to encourage everyone to make sure they are applying to the census. we have a lot of new recharge activities, we discussed earlier the new technology we can take into the hard account activities.
and where the low response rates are lower in to help individuals as never before. nevertheless, it is important that they have the trust in their motivated and engaged so we do have as associate director mentioned in a previous answer to another, we encourage the the faith-based communities to be sure they are motivated and get the messaging with our communication campaign we have special commercials to reach those communities so we are really using a variety of ways. let me ask her associate director -- >> let me say this before you respond if it's going to fall in the bureau, it will fall on enumerator actually getting out there and knocking on those doors because you all know what
the response rate is going to be and that's when your key to the follow-up. i see you want to say something. >> congressman, one of the things that we do that we expect more response rates to determine if we need a larger number of enumerator. and then were planning the enumerators in those tracks that have a low response and especially some of the black communities where we have larger numbers of then enumerators and we hire within the community to know that community to take account. but we are depending very heavily on our partners in the community to help us raise the trust level. i also said that your out reach is culturally appropriate.
so how do we address that? >> outreach is designed with our partners, with the urban league, with th nwa cp and who understad the community. >> including media outreach. >> including media outreach, radio -- >> we have an advertising agency that is a black advertising agency that the partner with y and r who worked to design a lot of the media campaign and reach out to the black community. >> i see my time is up at thank you, mr. chair. >> the gentleman yields. the turner recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. >> thank you for the panel to being here today, the census is
very important for everyone and i want to make note that the impeachment sideshow, i'm glad were starting to address some of the potential problems with the census. ensuring an accurate count is essential particular for world districts, the one i represent who receive a lower return on federal tax dollars invested to $2000 per person not counter. as of the beginning of february, over 2 million people had completed an assessment to become enumerator and a 2020 census which is approaching the target of 2.6 million candidates by next month. in order to reach the end goal of hiring 500,000 people as enumerator, i understand the census bureau is conducting a campaign. can you speak to some of the challenges you have been seen throughout this recruitment process and if there are any strategies to implement quickly to address those before mailings
go out in the process officially gets underway. >> absolutely congressman. we appreciate the circumstance in pennsylvania in philadelphia is a regional headquarters and there's a lot of attention with pennsylvania. but it's very important that we have the people on board, we had previous discussions here today that we will meet our goal and surpass our goal and we will meet at and that was the hardest case scenario of the 2.67 that we needed and we will meet that in the first week of march and the numbers by and large, you ask what the challenges are and i think everyone, i understand that unemployment is low, so that was the challenge. so we recruited and we have alumni to come back every ten years that love to do this. but we recruited in the university settings, this
20 million university students with student loans and need money. we made a very concerted effort and have more than 6000 partners in the field and we spread the word into many different ways in our recruiters, right now we have 4500 recruiters that are recruiting people so that is why we are making our goals and were over our goal if you look at a response rate of what we predict but the worst case scenario we certainly need more and we will not stop recruiting through the census until we get the count, we will continue to recruit so we can surpass our goal. >> are you seeing challenges specific to enumerators in rural parts of the country in what ways can we as congress be helping to improve to give you the tools you need. >> exactly, rural areas and other areas and particularly i say generalized and much of the
northeast. in some of the smaller states in one of the ways we do it, we have continuously evaluated the pay rate. we have raised even very recently, we increase the pay rate for these people in certain jurisdictions based on what we are seeing in the knees. >> are labor economists work to look at the dynamics by county, some of those dynamics include the unemployment rate, the type of work and that county, the minimum wage in that county and we've been adjusting wages up where we needed to to reach more people. in terms of what you as a trusted voice in your community and congressman andrew local staff can do to assist us is emphasized people's responding to our recruitment advertising.
if it's in a blog you are putting out or something that your staff can do to emphasize, step up and respond to the 2020census.gov/jobs and get people engaged in apply, that would help us significantly. but our recruiting staff will be working with your district staff on any particular tracks or area in your district that are having difficulty recruiting. >> i appreciate that, thank you very much. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes ms. ocasio-cortez from new york. >> thank you mr. chair, i would be remiss if we did not remind the committee overall that this is not our first census hearing that we have been at this for quite some time. it's a given member's first time showing up to a census hearing, i welcome them. the trump administration spent more than two years trying to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census which won a republican operative in gerrymandering expert said to
non-hispanic whites. last year in july however, the supreme court ruled that the attempt to other question was unlawful and it was contrived and in concurrent with the records reveal. i fear the damage has already been done. the attitudes towards the census by mail, 83% of undocumented persons and 74% of citizens were either the trump administration you census information against immigrants. mr. dillingham i want to get a few straight answers right now, i hope the relatively straightforward and appreciate it if you can answer with a simple yes, sir no. the first, the 2020 census will not ask citizenship or immigration status cracked? >> yes. >> the census data will not be
used in enforcement? correct. >> yes. >> the census data will not be released to the homeland of security. >> correct. >> yes. >> and were releasing it to dhs would be a crime punished up to five years in prison for $250,000 correct. >> yes. >> can you pledge today the immigrants contrast the census bureau to keep their data confidential so they can participate in the census without fear? >> if i understand your question, whether or not i could convince or share with. >> that you can pledged today. >> absolutely congresswoman. i would like every member of this committee and every member of congress and every elected leader, every appointed leader and every leader in every community to mitigate the same message. it is apolitical the census, and bipartisan. we need everyone's support. >> thank you and i appreciate you saying that. >> however, we know that message
is not quite getting out to the country. the ceo testified to the press committee on janeway ninth saying any latinos are resistant to participate in the census because they believe after years of coverage that there will be a question on the form despite its absence. and he also continued to say that the census bureau has been obstructed not to answer the question is that correct. >> that is not correct to the best of my own knowledge. in a matter of fact other people discuss it, whatever comes up we have total freedom to discuss. >> but your testimony that the bureau and employees of the bureau have not been instructed, your testifying that is doctor. >> i am not aware of anyone being obstructed. >> not to discuss the citizen
question. >> let me say this, this is a possibility and i don't know of any basis for that, we do, our research indicates we promote the benefits of the census and so we do not go back and repeat something that is negative, we talk about the causes. >> i think the question here to dig deeper, will the bureau clearly and decisively specifically no citizenship question on the census? >> it has certainly been the case whenever i have been asked, that is an absolutely accurate answer that we give that is not on there. in our advertising, i cannot speak to the methodology of the search, i'm generally aware of some of the publicity with it and they are a partner and we support them in what they're doing with the latino community and others. but we do our research with a
very broad scientific survey of 50000 focus groups are more than 120, we found people were more interested in knowing the benefits and that's what we emphasize. >> thank you with my last question to clarify. if someone knocks on my door in the bronx, how can a person confirm that this person is from the census. >> we have been to your district and we did meet with you on a particular occasion and we drove through queens college in the area and we saw some of the apartment housing and some of the public housing or authority control housing and we understand how important it is that they recognize when this is an official census person coming. so we will publicize it, we will have badges, the case would cover will have the u.s. census bureau audit and we have those ways and we will also communicate with whoever is in charge of the complex et cetera
that this is why we are here in this is what we are doing. we have found when we do that, when we enter -- i was told by a partnership specialist, when we enter a hall, word goes through the hall immediately in the complex that these people are here in this is what they're doing so we will work with those communities and everywhere we can to make sure that they know that we have a legitimate purpose and a purpose that we hope they will support and has benefited them. i want to thank you also for working with some of the outstanding leadership in the state of new york that everyone knows and promoting the value of the census. >> thank you very much. >> the turnover recognizes ms. lawrence for michigan. for five minutes. >> thanthank you, mr. chairman. doctor dealing him you have been to detroit, however, it's a city
that is undercounted and a significant minority population who speak dozens of languages. it's critical that the census bureau take aggressive action to ensure the hard-to-reach population are prioritized. in the preparation. as you know the mobile questionnaire assistant operation is meant to improve participation in the 2020 census by establishing a visible census bureau presence in areas with low response areas and providing the public with a way to answer the census in these locations. with this being said, that was a commitment that i received from you but i'm concerned that this operation will be understaffed and simply inadequate to serve the millions of americans who may need it in in 2010 the
census bureau spent 35 million on questioner systems and deployed more than 31000 staff members to nearly 39000 locations. however, in fiscal year 2020 congress gave the census 1.4 billion more than the president requested in congress has directed the census of a minimum of 90 million operation. last friday however, the census formed this committee that you only obligated million to date and it plans to deploy only 4000 staff. director, i am concerned that your proposed staffing level and infrastructure for the mobile questionnaire is insufficient to ensure cost effective use. can you give me a commitment today to revisit the following,
one, the plan number of census response representatives and to, your decision not to include questionnaire assistance as assessable fixed location for a period of time. >> i certainly will congresswoman and i appreciate the visits to detroit in the hard to count areas and we went to those areas and we saw the locations where we could use the mobile assistance where they can go into the community centers and i recall each one had planned for a community center, we visited one but they have centers there and we also went to donut shops for example in detroit and we saw where the homeless would congregate and we said that is where we can take the technology directly to the locations to help count the people. >> are we going to do that. >> we are going to do that and i want to commend the city of
detroit we visited the law school, et cetera, those people were very committed and when they took us around early on the sunday morning, we saw those locations and that's what we intend to do. you bring a question and will be glad to get back on the facts and figures but it was unanimous among the professionals at the census bureau that the fixed location in this teenage were not nearly as efficient or effective. as a matter of fact we don't have the hard data but some data we have indicates that some locations, we had an average of one and have people visit a day and to have a storefront location were only one and half persons come in a day is not being efficient and effective. that is why there was an agreement in the congress, the appropriating committees the house, what can you do and what can you do better and we developed a plan which they decided upon from 90 million and
we may spend $117 million. but it is an additional more than 4000 people who are recruiters. >> so you're not going to invest of the brick-and-mortar of the plan, how do you give access to those people, i cannot figure out what you're talking about, somebody needs to tell me and you're not knocking on the door, how do you get to the. >> what we do through our partners like the american library association, if they want to do it online they can go to the community centers, library and that allow the internet option. a lot of these people will not choose the internet option. that is correct. >> if they have a phone they can call. >> we have a crisis in detroit where a lot of our local libraries are not open or functioning in if they are to only two or three days a week, how can you satisfy the need when you don't have a place on a
regular consensus schedule for them to have access. let me give you one example, they were interested in the mayor in the location of baltimore. when we went around the people on the complete committee and people assisting we identified in 80 locations in the city of baltimore and that was a subset, there will be more than 80 locations where people can go for example if they want to use the internet but the phone, if they have any phone of any type, they can use the phones in addition we will have the paper and as pointed out by congressman clay, you really rely ultimately if we don't get the responses after five mailings, we rely on the numerator and people higher from those communities in the partnership specialist from those communities will help us to get a complete count in those communities. >> detroit is a very tough case,
we will work with you in every way that we can. >> i yield back thank you. >> the gentleman from maryland is reckoned as for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. the 2020 census is the largest and most advanced census that we've ever conducted, first it will be done mostly online as i understand. obviously cybersecurity is going to have to be a top priority for you all. there is a report today from the government accountability office which raises serious concerns of whether the census bureau is up to the challenge. it says the beer continues to face challenges related to addressing cybersecurity weaknesses tracking and resolving cybersecurity recommendation from the department of homeland security and addressing numerous others such as protecting the privacy of responding data.
two notwithstanding the commercial that we saw at the front and which shows security is going to be a key concern. we have some worries here. can you elaborate on the cybersecurity challenges you identify in your report and i guess it just made the point, if either there was a juicy target for those who want to hack in and cause mischief, it would be our tenure since when were putting online in a way we've never done before. that has got to be a high priority. can you speak to that please. >> certainly. indeed i think that's the most important thing to emphasize. we are dealing with cyber threats on a constant basis against federal agencies and census bureau's note exception in respect to that.
they identified the census as a high-risk area in 2017 and resides quite heavily on the innovation. the fact that were looking to rely on the internet response option is a key way for the public to respond to the survey is what creates the risk and specifically the cybersecurity risk. having said that we have some encouraging news. the bureau is working with the homeland security experts and has been doing that for over two years. they have been conducting and providing complicated advice to the bureau and has an agreement with the bureau for operational support in the event that the bureau starts to see the activity. that's a positive. >> let me jump in, i guess the census bureau data was talking about the concerns. last friday they informed us they had 924 vulnerability of plans of action and milestone. at the end of january, those vulnerability included 151 that were high-risk in 60 of the
census bureau deemed critical. and according to the bureau itself less than half of these will be fixed before census day on april 1, 2019. should all the critical and high-risk problems be fixed before april 1? >> recently would hope that would happen. but let me explain that the census bureau engages in a very sophisticated risk management process that began in the 1990s with guidance from gao on how will you do risk management. what we do is how you identify all our risk, they document some of the risk and tell us when were slipping on the schedule or when risk continues to exist. we develop the plans for remedying the risk and we get things off the list every day and more come on. we have as i mentioned earlier more than 25000 test that we have to do with the system and we have more than 27000 tasks
that we perform and whenever we see that something is flipping schedule, we put it on our risk list. and we work the list and the majority of those are coming off the list, i think they commend us often about the progress that we make. but the whole concept of risk management is to always be looking for a risk, that risk can simply mean your slipping schedule and then you work the risk and that's what you do. we will never in my opinion not have a risk list. we will always have risk and bite definition means is the possibility that something will happen the house happened. >> i certainly appreciate that you cannot guarantee that every risk is eliminated completely, that would not make any sense. but i hope you are just throwing everything at this on the front and. do you have some confidence that the bureau still has time to address the key challenges, the
most obvious risk that you have identified in the recommendations before census day? >> we are encouraged to how the bureau is approaching and tried to take action on feedback that is getting from dhs. just want to clarify with respect to the issue of the bureau itself identifies the results of testing are the correct action. that's a positive, having said that we have been recommending to the bureau to do a better job and prioritize with the critical risk to them. they actually make those decisions because of the expert of their environment. we are continuing to pull the fact of the recommendation is important to implement. >> thank you i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back and the gentlewoman from acid enter massachusetts is reckoned as for five minutes. >> first and just want to say and grateful to your hearing and for your tireless work to defend
the integrity of our census in keeping with the former chair. and i thank you for bringing him into the space. i cannot overstate the accurate census enough. we've been talking throughout today about hard to count districts. more than 60% of my constituents living in the county live in hard to count neighborhoods, more than 60%. critical to ensure they don't take place in the first place is making sure we have a stock power recruited, trained and ready to do the work. i have heard directly from constituents of mine who are eager and enthusiastic to take on the task. but instead they have been given the runaround or been left waiting to hear for weeks on end from the census bureau and the status of the application. so today i would like to discuss the census bureau recruiting and
hiring efforts. i understand the census bureau is expected to hire up to half a million temporary workers to conduct the 2020 census including the numerators who knock on doors to make sure everyone is counted. to do that they set a goal of 2.6 million applicants but again according to the report the census bureau as far behind. they said the bureau is far behind in the recruiting of applicants for upcoming operations. if the bureau does not recruit sufficient individuals, it may have difficulty hiring enough staff to complete the upcoming operation within schedule timeframe. i know there is a reoccurring theme here. as a reoccurring repeat theme because we have shared concerns and we do want to be good-faith partners to each other in this endeavor. as elected officials, we don't just get to speak to the what,
we have to explain the how. i don't believe we have gotten to that. so doctor dillingham, you have known about this problem for weeks outlined in the report. why is it bureau so behind on this with just weeks before the counts began nationwide. >> congresswoman, we appreciate your concern and we appreciate gao pointing out that we did have an ambitious goal under the worst case scenario that we were trying to meet. we will meet the worst case scenario and just a couple of weeks by the first week in march and most of those people will not be hired for many weeks later. so we are on course, we have absolute confidence, there is no one at the census bureau worried about us not having recruits overall in the country. what we do worry about, some areas and i certainly check boston, massachusetts, there are areas that we want to focus on. we have at least three applicants for every job that we
will be hiring for in every part of the country, some we have four and five applicants. we want for, five and i want six applicants for every job that we have available. because we have greater selectivity, we can choose the people from the communities directly from the communities and often with a set of language skills needed. let me put our charts appear and show you where we are. >> i see that from earlier in your presentation. >> it contradicts what you're offering. >> it is somewhat dated. >> it contradicts what you're offering in on the ground experience by the people i represent. in order to maintain the integrity of the process, we have to have the recruiting process be one that is of integrity. i participated in jobs in previous census in a been a good-faith partner and already done events in my district.
those that are unemployed or underemployed who want to be a part of the process, they have been left out to dry with any response for very long time. i'm glad that the bureau has had a recent update but i want to show you a chart again from today's report, the red line shows the census bureau goal of group greeting. the blue dotted line is your actual recruiting which is been lagging behind since last september. you still have not reached your own internal goals. what is causing the hiring delays at the census bureau. what can i tell my constituents. >> we have reached the internal goals with the anticipated response rate. the worst case scenario response rate were on the verge of hitting within two weeks, most of these people will not be hired, some for months, some for weeks and you started out with
people being concerned about not getting hired. we are making the selections. >> some have not even acknowledge receipt of application. those committees last committee meeting said it is time to ring the alarm bell on the numerator program. they are behind. there is no strategy to catch up. is his concern a fair one, yes, sir no. >> i will say this, he is our partner, we work with him and we respect him and let me say, we say it's filling fast and will overflow. i would characterize it differently. yes i would. >> is not just about meeting a national recruiting target. census workers are needed more and hard to count communities where many people will not fill out forms until someone arrives at the door. yet again according to the gao, 202 of the 248 areas census offices fell short of their
individual recruiting targets. all of this is about numbers. >> the numbers are telling the story. >> it is a sobering one that stands to relate devastating communities that are already under resourced and served. do you agree the staff shortages could have a bigger impact the hard to count communities, anyone who would like to add or weigh in. >> we agree staff shortages could have a big impact on hard to count communities. but i will emphasize that by the time we start making selections for hiring, we will have exceeded 2.7 million -- 2.67 million applicants in our poll. the challenge that your constituents is having as they have signed up for the census a
there are no discriminatory barriers to people applying and speak to a reasonable time to expect someone to get back? >> we are sending a letter to any applicant within two weeks of the location. we have received your application, but they will not be selected upon the timeframe for the primary operation period because it doesn't start until may so we are hiring people in advance of the operation and training process so that is one thing i want to maintain clarity on is that there will be a gap of approximately 60 days between the tim time we start selectiond the time people start working and being paid. >> the general man from california is recognized for five minutes. thank you so much for holding this hearing.
i've been working on this issue since i got elected and one of the things i've been concerned about in california and downtown la some of the nonprofits doing the outrage. they are reaching out to communities so they are doing a lot of phone calls right now. the bureau advised them not to have door knockers when enumerators are out. you have the greatest number of partners than any number of congress. i commend you on that and the numbers make a very important difference.
when i was in la in the district visiting the office and in fact both as well as the city were trying to get some of the population and i went out and we looked carefully at the population in some of the challenges that we were planning for, but reaching the hard to count in your district they are totally committing to doin commt anyway with regard to specific, this is my understanding, is that there has been some discussion because california has more resources and is doing accounting of its own of a type i guess with a corporation is that has been hired to help with account if we've given advice so people are not confused as to who is knocking at their door. is it a think tank administered
survey or the census and as far as i know that is the issue. >> that. you have one group say it's the unofficial nonprofit or community knocking on doors and then that person thinks that they filled, like they were counted and don't respond. that is a theory. by having too many people at the wrong time and i agree with that that leads me to other things disturbing going on in california. there is a situation where we have some mailers as somebody raised them before. madam chair, i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a republica census they are maio
california. do you believe that this will cause confusion? >> i got a copy of it before you came into the hearing today and another congresswoman from california shared this with me. we don't want any confusion whatsoever so we pledge we would look at this, and i explained we have sources on the website that if people feel they are being deceived in any way they can report it to us and we will look into it but we never request personal information. we never request funding for social security, credit cards etc. so we need to get that -- >> that isn't my question. here's the thing if you are so concerned and advise the nonprofits throughouthesenonproa and different groups not to have door knockers --
>> we just advise our folks not to be confused with them. >> and why, because you might end up actually suppressing the count itself? that's the point. you have a document that is going out but it looks official. it could cause the same kind of confusion before the actual census forms gets mailed out if what i am saying is that we need more communication with whatever entity is out there. if it's the republican party, they need to be pointed out that this will, can inadvertently suppress the count. i'm not saying that it will, but it's possible. if you are concerned about having folks knocking on doors, they should be deeply concerning to the census bureau. is the census bureau going to do
any outreach to these campaigns to the political parties do not have forms that look like the census i know in the freedom of speech and communication becomes very difficult but is there any discussion having the conversation with these entities? >> congressmen, to my knowledge we have not had those discussions with any political party or campaign. our primary response is to make sure people get accurate information that this is not part of the census bureau question. i do understand and am also the recipient of mail that is described with headings just to get you to open and begin reading it. when i read this i hope anyone would realize this is not the same as. i understand that there are these operations that want to
attract attention and get you to open the mail. >> think you. i'm not surprised by these mailings. i've seen it before, different types. often they do with political campaigns through an envelope that says tax information or a bunch of silliness in order to win, but this is a bigger deal than i think you realize. there should be a deeper concern. i understand there are going to be constitutional arguments, but sometimes public shaming helps to correct behavior. let's hope. another question -- i think i'm over time now, but one of the
things i am interested in, there are some technical issues or people are concerned about the online going out to perform the phone number, is there any concern about overwhelming the system or will the system be able to handle a massive flocks of people trying to figure out a questionnaire at the same time? i doubt it because people are not livin revving up to fill upe census. >> the system is designed to exceed what our predictions are so that if we think we are going to be receiving the information from up to 200,000 at one time, we have it for 600,000 plus. so far it's tested very well. we made a decision with regards to the system to make sure that
we had the one that would present a better customer experience and could handle the volume a little better as the primary system for the internet soft response. we are mindful of that. and if it was t to happen that could slow down the system but we also remind people we want to get it in soon, but they have about four months so it's not everyone's going to get on the system in one day or one week so we do study that and plan for it and all indications are we are ready for it. could it happen, i used to present hypotheticals. if it was football season and you have all the college teams playing football and asked how time everybody in the stadium you probably could overwhelm the system but i'm not sure i that s a realistic scenario. >> and political campaigns you
can tell people turn in the ballot early or they turn in the ballot late. traditionally it's been kind of a u-shaped and now it's moving towards everybody in the back, like the closer to the day people are holding onto the ballots waiting longer. have you seen that italics works in the census, is a traditional and then people slow down and pick up? >> we began to look at what type of soft response we had. we had a renewed thrust after we knocked on the door of the first time and with due notice that said this is the fifth time, i'm going to be your census person i will come back and visit. people then went and got online so we have another bump. our bond is at the beginning and little bumps and then it tapers off at that point. >> thank you, madam chair, for indulging me. i yield back.
>> i want to thank jaime gomez for bringing up this deceptive mailer. i think it's outrageous. it looks like an official document. this is 2020 congressional district census and assess the wild your census document entity campaign piece for the republican national committee. that's outrageous. i want to know what your response is going to be to that, doctor dillingham. this is an abuse. we have been writing all over facebook and twitter and every other social media urging them to be careful about deceptive documents that could be put on the internet that could be confusing to people on this constitutionally required effort to count everybody and then you find out a congressional party is sending out deceptive information.
i found it outrageous. i'm going to be reintroducing a bill i put them in 2010 which i thought would stop this but would make it a crime to be mailing out deceptive information. here we are supporting you that he was other people undermining it. i think we should have a hearing where you testify on how because i thinaccomplishment. i'd like to have that and i think you. the last speaker today is recognized for five minutes
happy to be here representing the district in new mexico of us do. thank you, doctor dillingham. my so grateful that you are here into spending the time that we neeneed in answering all questis that we have had. is a vibrant wonderful place but we have challenges. we are 49th in the country have a greater uninsured a proper count would mean we
, congresswoman, but i'm aware e of different estimates in different states. states. >> we figured it to be $600 million over the decade. to present undercounts like in the 2000. the programs will again be shortchanged to 1.2 billion. that translates into less money for school programs that serve hispanic, native and communities of color, less money for roads and other services and of course we can't afford an undercounts. so, just wanted to get that out there. following on the line of questions from congresswoman presley. i've been an organizer for a long time getting native american vets to vote, so i know what it means for people to open the door and see someone who looks like them. i would do that with a clipboard
in hand ready to help the committee and ready to get them to be active. the census bureau spoke repeatedly about wanting to hire enumerators and throughout mexico the census bureau is behind this goal which appears to be even more drastic in hispanic communities than in the infantry. and those i would say largely the communities where unemployment is higher so i feel like that would be a great place to find people. i've had a number of folks contact my district office and say they applied neve is never d from anybody. so, the census bureau knows that it is behind hiring these folks and i just want to know again tell us today how do you intend to make sure there are enough people out there to count, to
make the count that we absolutely need and there again the communities in my state were tired of falling behind getting the funding that we need. it's an excellent question and we have had a healthy debate that the national figures are looking extremely good and are on course and on track with national figures. but it's very important that the would meet the needs of particular states in particular communities within those states. i did see tremendous progress when i was in new mexico and when i visited the navajo nation, i noticed we were hiring people from the novel donation would help with this as
partnership specialists. i have not looked at your numbers but we will look at your numbers and the reason we will be looking at them is to make sure we have the standing available. if there is more recruitment efforts needed, we will make those efforts and advertise more in other jurisdictions and we can raise the pay rate in some instances. whatever. we need people from the communities both for purposes of the enumeration because the not so language quite frankly, and when i was visiting the nation, wa nation, wewent out and foundo did not have connectivity and that person didn't speak english, only spoke navajo and we had a translator so we need those services. i solved with the cables that were being run to the health centers those need to be done and we actually were there with
the interior department saying we hope this gets done so we are going to do everything we can with the partnerships are some pork and some of the high hearing from the communities that know the languages is so important for both hispanic community and indian community. i thin think mike associate dirr would like more specifics on new mexico. >> just last week we authorized spending $2 million in local recruiting advertising for those that may be low or behind. we are very sensitive to those specific needs and that was part of our effort to encourage local advertising and recruiting in the smokeout areas, so that is a tangible example of what we are doing right now in your area and state.
>> thank you. congresswoman, we will be managing data in real-time on the internet that you and anyone else can check to see what the response rates are so we can focus the resources to those areas. >> while we are talking about languages, there is a large navajo population of mexico, there's also other languages spoken as well. so, those are not necessarily written, there is a need for translators in various areas to make sure that there is no language barrier with respect to getting the right answers that we need, so i would like to just mention that. i am last question i think will be a high wanted to follow-up n my colleague, ms. ocasio cortez
and my office has been in touch with the bureau and we were told there is no part of the plan directly addressing the citizenship question and i'm doing months of intimidation because people are still afraid of the. will you commit to directly confront and eliminate any confusion regarding the citizenship question and that means spending money on ensuring that you are putting that out there so that people don't continue to be intimidated by that. >> we are ensuring everyone knows that and i will say we have part is that are specifically promoting that avenue. i would say also that our research indicated in working with the groups they are looking
for positive reasons to respond to the census and rather than enforce the negative, if there were some negative about past concerns reinforce the positive so the direction of the communications campaign has been very positive. >> thank you. chairwoman, thank you for allowing me to go over time. >> you have a very important line of questioning and i'd like to follow up on it. i think her line of questioning of how much would the states lose if you were undercounted 1% is riveting and when the number came back 600 million estimated, i'd like to ask for that for each state so that citizens that live there know what is at stake if they don't fill out their form. i can't think of a better way to do that and i'd like to request that if i could. >> we will share whatever information we have.
they usuallwe usually use the fe nationally at 675 billion annually an that we are putting. as much as you said in a statement the 1.5 trillion some academics and researchers developed. >> her question is if you undercounted 1 1% what specifically would it mean to that state. >> based on certain assumptions. >> that would be great. and i want to respond to tv porkers linporter's line of qued mr. gomez on the false documents that were sent out by the republican national committee. i literally passed a bill in 2010 is that it should be illegal to put out information disguised as the census bureau in its past, so it is against the law to do this. i need to revisit and add penalties and enforcement because clearly people are violating that principle.
the census is one of the sacred things in our constitution is one of the few responsibilities mentioned in this hour policies are not correct, it is critical to the private sector, the public sector, the state and i would say very importantly if you are no were not counted, yoe not represented so we need to work harder to make that happen. i do want to revisit an exchange that was rare. this has been called the most partisan congress in history that we had a strong bipartisan exchange in which they expressed the desire to get from the bureau, the community partners i think that is very important and i want to underline that the committee staff has been asking
for that information also so i won't ask again when can we get that information? we all want to be like jimmy gomez and the way to start is knowing who the partners are in the district to connect with them and get them to try to find more. >> late last night i was hoping i could bring what woul up whatd like a large phone book but it hadn't gone through the clearance process. i am informed today at least during the hearing that we can make that available and as soon as it is made available, we will deliver that to you. >> we would like to get that out to every single congressman and i would like to close first and foremost by thanking everyone of you for your public service, dedication, working for the country and i'd like to close where we began with the gao finding that the census bureau
faces significant risk that could adversely impact the cost, quality, schedule and security of the account. i can see that you and your team and the rest of the census bureau are working very hard. they are dedicated. but the gao report shows that there are simply too many gaps, red flags out there in hiring and the partnerships and technology testing into cybersecurity. we have to respond to those that have been thrown up by the gao. if the gaps are not filled, it is our most vulnerable citizens will suffer including children, low-income communities, and minority communities. they will be resulted in an undercounted and won't get the
services they need or the representation. they will lose representation and funding for critical services like schools and health care so i urge you to do absolutely everything you can in your power to an sure every ensy person and community is counted as required by our great constitution. everybody has five days to add to their testimony and make any changes they would like to make and add additional information to the testimony. this is an ongoing series that we will be having numerous oversight hearings on this critical important function of the government which is under the distinction of the committee. i used to chair the subcommittee
then they abolished it. i would first like to thank all the witnesses were testifying today and without objection all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witnesses to the chair which will be forwarded to the witnesses further response. i pass all the witnesses to coud please respond as promptly as they were able. thank you for your time, service. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]